Almost three months after the military coup in Myanmar, the situation continues to be dramatic and under high tension.
The military junta under the command of General Min has killed at least 745 people and committed thousands of arrests since the February 1 putch. One wonders where the Burmese resistance fighters still find this astonishing energy which animates them! The peaceful demonstrations continue, day and night. In the street, against the army, it is the pot of earth against the pot of iron. A young resistance fighter declared: "How can we compete with their weapons? By fighting with our intelligence". But it is at the risk of their lives. 82 civilians were massacred on April 10 by the police and the army with the use of heavy weapons.
Non-violent resistance still prevails everywhere, except in the territories of the minorities, where coups de force supported by ethnic armies are being considered. A "military" operation against the 500,000 over-equipped men of the Burmese army would undoubtedly be suicidal, with the risk of a generalized civil war.
How does the population continue to live?
The people are on their knees, the economy is suffocated, on the verge of collapse. Most of the businesses are at a standstill. Thousands of women and men - mostly from the poorest strata of the rural areas - have returned to their countryside, with empty pockets, and now without jobs or income.
In order to compensate for the growing precariousness, the resistance movement is organizing a very important network of mutual aid on a large scale in many cities and rural areas. Two or three times a week, a solidarity market is held in a place of the city or the village, where everyone can come and get free supplies while others bring what they have and what they can do without. In some neighborhoods, small carts and tricycles filled with food have been set up and circulate every day in the streets and alleys. Young people push them, shouting, "If you need, take! If you can, give!"
Does the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) last Saturday in Jakarta open a new stage?
Certainly, but in which direction? Urgently requested by the UN, the Asean meeting on Saturday reached a consensus to end the violence, and initiate a constructive dialogue between all parties with the help of an Asean special envoy to facilitate the dialogue with a visit by this envoy to Myanmar. However, Burmese coup general Min has not responded explicitly to demands to stop the massacre of civilian protesters. It is also questionable whether the invitation of General Min to such an official meeting is not in some way a form of recognition of the coup regime on the international scene.